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She wasn't. Of course she wasn't. Of course she was in pain. But she didn't act like it. Fire Girl was calm and unperturbed, handling her burn wounds terrifyingly well. Jasper didn’t know if she had incredible constitution or if he was just weak.

It was probably both.

Then Fire Girl asked them how they wanted to die. The question hit him like a gust of cold air, sending goosebumps up his arm and a chill down his spine. He didn’t need to think about this. He needed to find friends and allies, people like Henry and Arthur and Coleen. He hugged the bag tighter to his chest as he thought of them. He needed to return.

Junko answered her instead, asserting that she’d fight to survive. He supposed it was the most rational thing to do, but it still broke Jasper’s heart. They were all wonderful, good, well-adjusted teenagers. They weren’t supposed to be fighting like this, hacking and slashing each other for a concept that had been guaranteed to them by the society they lived in. None of them should have to resort to that. None of them deserved this madness.


“‘Whatever it takes’?” He echoed, taken aback. He was silent for a moment, before choking back a sob and burying his face in his hands. “Oh god…”

“Why? Why do you have to fight people?” The answer was obvious, but he didn’t want to think of it. “I know we’re all going to…” he choked up as he said it. “Die, can't we all just spend our last days in peace?” He asked, looking up at both of girls.

“Can't we all just be happy?”

Before either of them said anything, another girl appeared, vaguely recognizable as another classmate. Another familiar face he was now pitted against.

He smiled weakly at the newcomer, lifting a hand for a slight wave.

“Hey.”
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St. Patrick's Purgatory · The Cove